All You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

Not everyone is blessed with naturally white teeth. Even those white teeth may experience staining with time. Common causes of staining include age, beverages such as wine or coffee, certain foods, or lifestyle habits such as smoking. 

If you feel like you have stained teeth that have hampered your smile, you’ll be glad to know that you can get white teeth through teeth whitening. 

Teeth whitening is big business, with dozens of products and procedures in the market that promise whiter, more beautiful smiles. It is so common that professional teeth whitening is among the most sought-after cosmetic dentistry procedures in the U.S today. Before having your teeth whitened, it’s important that you know everything there’s to know about the procedure. Lucky for you, we have done all the groundwork and compiled every important thing you need to know in this guide.

Why Teeth Whitening Is Important

teeth whitening at family dentist

closeup of smile with white healthy teeth.

People get their teeth whitened for many reasons. Among the most popular ones are: 

  • To offset natural teeth discoloration
  • To achieve a brighter and whiter smile for special occasions
  • To boost self-esteem and confidence
  • To enhance one’s overall beauty 
  • To reverse the effects of teeth staining from foods and beverages consumed often 

How Teeth Whitening Process Works 


The most basic tooth whitening process uses whitening products that contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active compound. When the whitening product is applied to your tooth, the solution penetrates the enamel and begins oxidation.

The stain molecules are broken down into tiny pieces to reduce their concentration, resulting in lighter and brighter teeth. This procedure is quite effective in getting rid of stains, takes a few hours, and can be done as often as your dentist advises.

Sometimes, the stains can be pretty tough and may not respond as expected to the whitening process. In this scenario, your dentists will offer you an alternative treatment. For example, you can have dental veneers placed on the surface of your tooth to cover dark stains. Veneers are an excellent option if you’re not ready to stop consuming things that stain your teeth as they are stain-resistant and won’t yellow as quickly as natural teeth. That said, it is advisable to try a tooth whitening procedure first before going for a cosmetic one.

Can Teeth Whitening Remove Stains?

Whitening your teeth is the most effective way to eliminate tooth stains. You can remove stains by whitened with professional cleanings, bleaching products, or cosmetic services, like dental bonding and porcelain veneers. The two types of stains that can affect your teeth are either intrinsic or extrinsic. 

Extrinsic: Stains Above the Enamel

Extrinsic stains are caused by lifestyle choices such as using tobacco, too much intake of dark-colored foods and beverages, sodas and sports drinks, inadequate brushing, and little to no dental visits. The good thing is that you can whiten such surface stains through professional cleaning.

Intrinsic: Stains Below the Enamel

Intrinsic stains are primarily caused by aging. However, external factors such as excess fluoride in drinking water (fluorosis) and mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also lead to these types of stains. Since intrinsic stains are found below your tooth’s enamel, they might not respond well to topical bleaching.

Can Teeth Whitening Damage Your Teeth?

Teeth whitening, if properly done by a professional, is pretty safe. Many studies have shown that tooth whitening products using 10% carbamide peroxide or less do not affect a tooth’s enamel’s rigidity or mineral content. 

Common side effects that you may experience after a tooth whitening procedure, like tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of tissues of the soft tissues in your mouth, are usually temporary and bearable. In most cases, tooth sensitivity occurs during the early stages of the bleaching treatment.

Can Teeth Whitening Treatment Damage Gums?

Tooth whitening products containing high bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide can cause gum irritation. If the product comes into contact with your gum, a chemical burn can happen, causing your gums to turn white and even blister.

Fortunately, you can avoid all this by using high-quality whitening products effectively. If burns occur, they usually resolve in a few days to a week. But you can always treat them with a soothing vitamin E gel or other dentist-prescribed pain medication. If you have active gingivitis, avoid strong whitening toothpaste or gel as they will exacerbate gum inflammation.

Can Teeth Whitening Strips Damage Teeth?

High amounts of hydrogen peroxide, a compound commonly found in whitening strips, can damage the dentin within the tooth enamel. It can penetrate the enamel (the shiny exterior part of your tooth) and infiltrate dentin (the middle layer). 

The American Dental Association recommends no more than 10% of hydrogen peroxide in a tooth whitening solution. So, ensure that you check the ingredient list when shopping for whitening strips and carefully follow the directions for use.

The Best Teeth Whitening Methods

emergency dental care hanford

If you want to whiten your teeth safely and achieve results that last you years, go for professional tooth whitening at a reputable dental office. Most facilities offer both in-office and take-home tooth whitening options. At Dr. Jack Nagrani dentistry in Hanford, CA, we offer:

  • Laser whitening: our cosmetic dentists use a safe, painless, and effective laser whitening in-office treatment to achieve the perfect shade.
  • Dental veneers: we can also install porcelain veneers to your stained teeth to achieve an improved, long-lasting appearance.

The best method for you will depend on various factors, including the type of stains, your age, the condition of your teeth. Our dentist will do a comprehensive oral health examination to determine your dental needs and advise you on the best whitening course for your teeth.

Looking to Whiten Your Teeth Safely? Contact Us Today!

What better way to transform your smile than getting your teeth a couple of shades whiter? At Dr. Jack Nagrani’s dental office, we specialize in offering safe and effective teeth whitening treatments for clients in Hanford, California. Our entire staff is professional and family-friendly. Rest assured that we can tackle nearly all teeth stains and give you an attractive smile. 

Get in touch with our dentistry office at 559-422-6027 to book an appointment so we can answer your questions on our teeth whitening services and help you decide which option is best for you. 

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